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ECUADOR LUXURY EXPERIENCE

ECUADOR LUXURY EXPERIENCE

$2999 per person

Luxury & authenticity adventure in the most diverse country. Enjoy hiking in the Andes, admiring powerful waterfalls exploring off the beaten path trails with outstanding views of beautiful volcanoes in the Andes. Share time with the local in the unique Otavalo Market, learn about their ancestral customs, and at the same time, enjoy the best comfort by staying in charming luxury haciendas.


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12+ Age
10 Days
  • Departure
    Quito / Ecuador
  • Included
    Activities
    Land Transportation
    Fees and entrances to parks and museums
    Meals detailed in the itinerary
  • Not Included
    Domestic flights
    Airport tranfer in & out
    International flight
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DAY 1: QUITO ARRIVAL DAY

Meet your AJ trip leader and group at 6:00pm. Welcome to Quito! The largest, best-preserved colonial city of America - declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. ADVENTURE JOURNEYS can help you to organize a day trip (please request in advance). In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel’s lobby for a welcome briefing at 18:00 hours. At this time, we will discuss the details and questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an acclimation and information day.

Accommodation: Casa Gangotena or similar

Meals included: none.

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DAY 2: QUITSATO SOLAR CLOCK – OTAVALO INDIGENOUS MARKET – COTACACHI – LUXURY TRADITIONAL HACIENDA

After a delicious breakfast, we will travel across the Andes to stop by the equatorial line to witness this great attraction and for standing on both hemispheres at the same time.

Then, we will drive to Otavalo Indigenous Market to admire the endless number of handicrafts from the local people. Take time to stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets, which are filled with Otavalo indigenous people wearing the traditional blue ponchos. Visit their handicraft market, with its wonderful textiles, native paintings, ceramics, jewelry, tapestries and more at bargain prices. In Otavalo, there will be enough time for shopping and cultural interaction.
In the afternoon, we will drive to Cotacachi to witness the impressive leather goods of the town and enjoy the beauty of this small village. There will be some free time for you to explore the shops or simply relax while sipping on one of the best coffees in Ecuador in the main plaza.
In the late afternoon we will visit the stunning 17th century Hacienda Zuleta and working-farm of former Ecuador President Galo Plaza Lasso and his family. You could enjoy its natural warmth, hospitality and community ties.
Accommodation: Zuleta Hacienda

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

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DAY 3: ZULETA LUXURY HACIENDA – OPTIONAL ACITIVITIES

This day you can enjoy the optional activities Zuleta Hacienda offers. You can learn about the conservation program Cóndor Huasi which seeks to preserve the emblematic Andean condor up close in its natural habitat.

You can also admire how the Hacienda retains its roots as a working farm, producing 6000 liters of milk a day, wheat, barley, cheese in 14 varieties, cream, trout, wool, mutton, horses, wood, and even compost from our earthworm farm.
Another special activity for you will be enjoying the exclusive stable with their own breed of Zuleteño horse that gives you the opportunity to discover this magnificent landscape in true style! You will find horses for every level and you will be provided with good quality helmets, half chaps, rain ponchos, and a saddle bag so you can feel like a proper caballero while exploring some of our glorious horse trails.
Accommodation: Zuleta Hacienda

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

4
DAY 4: COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast, we will drive south on the Pan-American Highway to the highest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi. The snow-capped volcano is surrounded by the national park, home to abundant plant life, a rich fauna and Inca ruins. We will begin our visit at the interpretation center at the entrance of the park, before continuing our drive across the páramo to the Limpiopungo Lake. During a short walk around the lake we can observe a variety of birds and enjoy the stunning views of the almost symmetrical cone of the Cotopaxi volcano. Afterwards, we will drive to the colonial Hacienda of San Agustín de Callo. Built on the site of an Inca palace, one of the two most important archaeological Inca sites in Ecuador.

Accommodation: Hacienda San Agustín de Callo

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

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DAY 5: BAÑOS DE AGUA SANTA

This morning you can enjoy the facilities of the Hacienda and some activities as horseback ride or visiting plantations where you can admire the best roses in the world. After that we will keep going south where we will have a breath-taking view of Baños, a town well known for its spectacular location right at the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, which has been active since 1999. The volcano is the main attraction of this region. In the afternoon we will have some time to explore the town and also go to The Swing of the End of the World, where the winner of the 2014 National Geographic photo contest took his photo.

Accommodation: Samari Spa & Resort

Meals included: Breakfast.

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DAY 6: THE ROUTE OF THE WATERFALLS

This morning we will hit the road of the waterfalls. The first stop will be at the Bride´s Veil waterfall, where we will take the Tarabita (cable car) to get across the Pastaza River. Then we will hike down to the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, the second highest in Ecuador.

We will have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy amazing activities as the incredible zip line, rafting, or the fantastic biking to admire the stunning landscape.
Accommodation: Samari Spa & Resort

Meals included: Breakfast.

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DAY 7: DEVIL´S NOSE TRAIN - INCA RUINS - CUENCA

This day we will be transferred to the charming city of Cuenca. Enjoying on the way the amazing experience of boarding the train to the Devil’s Nose, where the tracks wind through the countryside in a zigzag formation, creating a travel experience like no other. After the train ride, we will continue our visit towards Ingapirca, the most impressive Inca ruins of Ecuador. We will spend the afternoon learning about this archaeological site, notable for its unique fusion of Inca and native Cañari architecture, as well as for its religious meaning. Later, we will head up to Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its colonial architecture.

Accommodation: Mansión Alcázar

Meals included: Breakfast.

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DAY 8: CUENCA UNESCO CITY

Starting in the morning enjoy a fantastic city tour, visiting the most important buildings and notable places in Cuenca, such as Calderon Square, the New Cathedral, El Barranco and El Turi lookout point. In the afternoon visit a famous Panama hat factory where we will understand the whole process of making this traditional Ecuadorian hat.

Accommodation: Mansión Alcázar

Meals included: Breakfast.

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DAY 9: CUENCA - GUAYAQUIL

After breakfast, we will leave the beautiful city of Cuenca to take our way to Guayaquil, where we will visit the main streets and avenues of the city, as well as the Simón Bolívar Park, El Malecón 2000, the docks and the Rotonda (with the statues of Bolívar and San Martín). We will have an amazing time visiting the Colonial neighborhood of Las Peñas, where we can admire its wooden architecture and where many of its houses are art galleries, you will appreciate a beautiful panoramic view of Guayaquil and the Guayas River from Santa Ana Fort.

Accommodation: Hotel del Parque

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

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DAY 10: DEPARTURE

Today our trip will end and you will have your International departures. Take with you your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "buen viaje"!

Meals included: Breakfast.

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Accomodation
Destination
Value For Money
Overall
Transport
Meals

What's Included?

  • Transportation: Private and comfortable land transportation, train, Airport transfers (national & international flights).
  • Accommodation based in double occupancy:  Luxury hotel in Quito, Cuenca & Guayaquil, Luxury colonial style haciendas in Otavalo & Cotopaxi, Luxury Spa in Baños.
  • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinner.
  • Activities: Indigenous Market, encounter with indigenous people, road of the waterfalls, hiking around Limpiopungo lagoon in Cotopaxi, route of the waterfalls visit, train to Devil's Nose, cultural visit of Cuenca.
  • Gear: Walking sticks for Cotopaxi National Park.
  • Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure leader.

What is not included?

  • My Own Room supplement cost USD.
  •  International air (also applied to trans-border flights).
  • Travel insurance mandatory.
  • Entrance fees not listed.
  • Applicable tourist visas.

  •  Incidentals.

  • Airport taxes.

  • Tips or gratuities; recommended $10 to $15 per day for guides, transportation and restaurants.

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary; food budget $ 250 to $ 350.

  • Optional tour or optional admissions.

IMPORTANT DETAILS

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER: It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention to specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.

DRIVING TIME: Pichincha, Imbabura, Napo, Pastaza, Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Cañar and Azuay.

SEASON: All year.

PROVINCE: Pichincha, Imbabura, Napo, Cotopaxi.

TERRITORY: All Inter-Andean Valleys and Andes ranges, Amazon Rainforest upper part, cloud forest and canyons.

ALTITUDE: From 500 to 5000m (1600 to 16500 ft).

AVG. TEMP.: Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF - Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy. This program will run from the high Andean Mountains to the tropical Amazonian rain forest, which involves the hiking in flat areas of the Amazon, a hike down the Pastaza canon to the Pailon Del Diablo waterfall for 1 km. Optional hike up to Chimborazo Volcano Base Camp 5000m.

ADVENTURE GEAR: Life jackets, hiking sticks.

ACCOMODATION: All prices are based on double-occupancy. If you are traveling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact AJ prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.

SAFETY: Guides are certified as Wilderness First Aid Responders. We carry a complete first aid kit.

MEALS: Traveling with Adventure Journeys you will have the possibility to experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. Some meals are not included in order to give you some flexibility about where, what and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group, however there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform AJ prior to your departure. Vegetarians, Vegans and Gluten Free people are very welcome in our trip, our guides are always ready to coordinate with chefs and restaurants for substitute meals for them, as Ecuador is very well known for its great diversity of gastronomy.

YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES: All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed from the Tourism University to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid respondents. They all have approved several extra training courses for kayaking, rafting, biking and horse riding, besides this they all are Ecuadorian and have a fantastic personality. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips. In some locations and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service and make sure we practice sustainable tourism involving local indigenous people in our operation.

In the Galapagos Islands, minimum 4 participants for the AJ trip leader service are required.

SUSTAINABLE ECO AND CULTURAL TOURISM: Clients receive interpretation and education about the ecology and conservation of the Andes, Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands, and learn about the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both local people cultural identity and the environment. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage and we prefer to work with local suppliers. Your visit will encourage the local communities to support responsible eco-tourism as a sustainable alternative for their living.

HEALTH INFORMATION: Please inform AJ of any existing medical conditions (i.e. pregnancy, diabetes, etc). Yellow fever, Hepatitis B vaccination and Malaria Medication are recommended when traveling to the tropics. Please ask your doctor for advice.